Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Source: Google images

It has certainly been a very spoiling year of travel for me, with a lovely mix of time away spent with our children, my mother and sister, and friends.  Any of you who follow me on Instagram (@sophiahomelifestyle) will know that a couple of weeks ago, Mr. SH and I rounded off this inspiring year with a trip for just the two of us….a few days in beautiful Venice, to celebrate my birthday, which was a wonderful treat!

I can not believe that it has taken us so long to finally visit this extraordinarily magical place…we were completely enchanted!  

We had a very spoiling three nights at the renowned Gritti Palace Hotel, situated overlooking the Grand Canal, where we were immersed in true luxury...

From a design perspective, I was in my element…with exquisite Fortuny silk fabrics at the windows and on the walls, Murano glass lighting, antique furniture, through to the gorgeous Aqua di Parma products in the beautiful marble bathroom…the Gritti Palace envelopes you in pampering luxury.  With a fascinating history and equally fascinating past guest list from Ernest Hemingway to the Rolling Stones, amongst many others, it is one of Venice's iconic retreats.

Rich and sumptuous interiors...

Elegant and gourmet...

The cosy and relaxing 'Longhi' bar, overlooking the Grand Canal…perfect for an evening cocktail!

And beautiful fresh roses everywhere….even in our room as a surprise from the 'Gritti' for my birthday...

It was of course looking very festive!

At this time of year, Venice is crowd free…making walking for hours around this extraordinary 'floating' city a true pleasure.  Countless pretty bridges and a new and heart stopingly beautiful vista around every corner.  With an abundance of trattorias serving delicious Venetian dishes, especially wonderful fresh seafood, and 'Osterias' serving delicious little 'tapas' dishes….we were not short on choice of atmospheric places to stop and recharge, before heading off on foot again to explore a new and stunning island.

Venice's legendary 'gondolas'….

Beautiful historic architecture…

Everyday life….all on the water.

Venice would not be Venice, without the legendary flooding….the locals all so used to the daily ritual of mopping up….just part of everyday Venetian life.  'Wellies' are essential of course….

Even for some of the furniture!

I love to travel, and like to find inspiration from anywhere that I visit….but Venice topped them all!  As we waited on the edge of the Grand Canal, waiting for our water taxi to take us back to the airport….we vowed to return soon to this very special and magical of places!

Have you visited Venice?  If so, I would love to hear from you!


Enjoy the rest of your week…

Sophia xx


  1. Wow Sophia, what a wonderful treat. Belated Happy Birthday greetings to you. Venice is on my list of places to visit, if I make a plan to go, I will pick your brains on places to visit!
    How are your Christmas preparations coming along? X

    1. Thank you so much for your birthday wishes Alison! If you get the chance to go to Venice, you must…..and do pick my brains!
      A little hectic at this time of year, (for us all!) juggling Christmas design project deadlines and the Christmas preparations, but it usually comes together! Do hope yours are going well too, along with the exciting new business venture!

      Sophia xx

  2. Hey Sophia, I discovered your blog last week through the blog of Greet from Belgian Pearls and I'm very happy I did. I really love your blog.
    Venise is a fabulous city indeed, so different from any other.
    I visited Venise 20 years ago and I would return anytime.
    Did you visite the islands Murano and Burano as well?
    I wish you a very happy birthday !
    greatings from Belgium,

  3. Dear Claire,

    Thank you so much for your kind comment, and I am so pleased you have found the blog via Greet and that you are enjoying it!
    Sadly we ran out of time to visit Murano and Burano, but do hope to return to Venice!
    Happy Christmas!

    Sophia x

  4. Hi Sophia, lovely photos of Venice....still on my list to go to....perhaps my next birthday!
    Good tip on best time to visit, as too many crowds are so unpleasant...thanks for sharing your lovely birthday photos with us. Sharon x

    1. Thank you Sharon! A lovely place to celebrate a birthday or any occasion,so hope you visit this magical place!

      Sophia xx

  5. Hi Sophia
    Happy Birthday and thankyou for sharing your photos of beautiful Venice. We were very fortunate to visit Venice a few years ago. We went in the summer and it was very crowded but such a wonderful and unique place. We stayed in the Hilton Molino Stucky and it was very different to arrive at your motel by water taxi.
    Enjoy your Christmas preparations.
    Warm wishes from Australia


  6. It looks so beautiful Sophia! On my wish list now if not before, lovely photo's capturing the Venice I imagine, xx